Four hotel companies invest in meeting site search

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Accor, Hilton, InterContinental Hotels Group and Marriott International have invested a combined $50 million in Groups360, a technology platform for searching meeting spaces and rates. Each investor will have a seat on the board.

Groups360 will use the money to enhance its GroupSync platform and offerings. Currently, planners can use the platform to search destinations for hotels and future rates, which are determined by an algorithm that accounts for current rates and economic factors. This means planners don't need to use RFPs to seek out rates and thus can request proposals from a narrower roster of venues.

Groups360's road map, though, includes a booking solution for simple meetings, said president and CEO Kemp Gallineau. "Getting to instant booking is one of our focal points." The company has not determined a time line.

Groups360 also will use its new funds to expand its sales, marketing and engineering teams. "We currently have 30 people in the company, all employed in the U.S.," Gallineau said. "Over the next 18 to 24 months, we plan to have 100 to 150 people globally."

The company's database has more than 170,000 properties across 225 countries, representing Accor, Hilton, IHG and Marriott, as well as other brands and independent properties. Groups360 said it will continue to offer a variety of venues.
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Source: Business Travel News

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